The Climate Crisis
Have you ever ventured into waist-deep flooded streets or worse, swim the flooded highways and needs to cling into the fallen electric cables and posts against the deadly surge?
Have you ever experienced excessive sweating all day not due to biological or medical reasons but due to hot days and hot nights that have become more frequent? Your undies were soaked in salty slimy liquid just after a few moments whether at home, travel, school or work. These inconveniences are brought about by extreme weather that we are experiencing.
I survived the wrath of Ondoy (Ketsana)
I can recall what happened on September 26, 2009 with Ondoy and its horrors, but I do not care to remember its sordid details. I swam the waist-deep streets of San Mateo, Rizal Province, Philippines to catch an exam in Manila scheduled early morning the following day. You might not believe that I reached Ampid, San Mateo by swimming in the flooded streets. But there, I was prevented by the soldiers not to proceed because the flood has already reached the second floors of the houses. I cannot go back as the flood level has already reached my breast so I took shelter at the nearby Saint Mathew's College together with other evacuees of the nearby subdivisions, their children, their pet dogs, and pees and poos and everything. I went home after the flood water has receded. What an awful sight to see where people lost a lot and terribly, and where everything is a mess. We begin to rebuild after the deluge because we always see the rainbow smiling at us. Indeed, such was a filthy event of nature's wrath that even the heavy downpour last days and night sent shiver to my spines. It is a story of hope and faith that we were able to survive such a catastrophe.
According to the Philippine government think-tank on climate change, extreme weather events have occurred more frequently since 1980. These include deadly and damaging typhoons, floods, landslides, severe El Niño and La Niña events, drought, and forest fires. Adversely affected sectors include agriculture, fresh water, coastal and marine resources and health. Frequent occurrence of extreme El Niño events has affected rainfall and inflow patterns of the reservoirs. It also resulted in water rationing in Metro Manila. There is also evidence correlating El Niño occurrences with the epidemics on dengue. On personal experience, these hot months have caused problems in electric generation, such as a high enery demands and brownouts or worse, blackouts. There was also the occurence of earthquakes and panic.
Among the extreme La Niña events that have happened recently are those which caused massive landslides. These severe weather events have one thing in common - persistent torrential rains, causing landslides and flash floods, killing thousands of people and destroying billions of property along its path.
In all these extreme events, the poor and the disadvantaged are the most vulnerable to the negative consequences of climate change. In my view, nobody is spared. Even the rich suffers and so with the poor. They both terribly perspire the hot months and pay spiraling electric bills. And they both swam the flooded streets to save lives and properties. That is, because nature is always fair.
It's urgent. Let's do our share. Be Prepared. Share and Help.
As citizens, we can do our share to cushion the impact of climate change. Use fuel efficient transport to save on fuel. Use bikes or walk if you have to travel not in a distance. It is also a good exercise to keep our body healthy and active. Save on electricity at home or at work. Participate in eco-friendly activities in your home, work or community. Let us not forget that we also have social responsibilities. And these include relief response participation and food and medical assistance in case of emergency. It is our eco-friendly behavior and practices that can save us. Above all these, it is our green lifestyle that makes a difference because we are still alive today.
I know that Bayanihan spirit is still alive. It is a Pinoy way of self-sacrifice and charity.
Source of this post on technical aspect:
Philippine Task Force on Climate Change
Read more on Climate Change:Al Gore on Global Warming and Climate Change
Gore will be in Manila on June 8, 2010 to Speak on Climate Change
Climate Crisis Coalition